“Which Christmas party dress should I wear?” is not just a good-looking title, it’s a real question I’ve been asking myself for weeks – I can’t decide! So now I’m here looking for help.
I’d originally planned to get in front of the sewing machine and design a strappy maxi dress out a epic red sequinned fabric. That was until I read a bit more about how to sew with sequinned fabric and it was recommended to remove the sequins along every seam line, and that it would likely take an extra 4 to 6 hours to sew another normal dress because of this, let alone a full length one! So that idea went out the window.
Then I saw the Ingrid Fishtail Dress from Collectif and I KNEW I had to have it. They sold this dress last year in red and black and I was sorely tempted then but resisted, but when I saw it in this gorgeous green this year, it just screamed Keira Knightley in that Atonement dress and I was sold. But I had my heart set on making my own dress for the Christmas party this year, so I started my investigations into dress patterns for similar styles, even considering drafting my own as I wanted the skirt on the bias, and started looking at fabric for it. Bear in mind that I’ve never actually worked with silk or even a proper satin like fabric before, especially in a garment that requires this amount of precision! I came across a few: McCalls 7047 and Vogue 2931 were both worthy contenders in terms of shape that could be hacked to create something similar, but McCalls 7154 blew me away with its 1930s style and detail. That was until I realised I’d need up to 6m of fabric (plus I’d need a similar amount again of a cheaper but similar weight and feel one to do a mock up – I wasn’t going to attempt this without!) that was going to be £12/m at the cheapest…I was nearing the price of the original Collectif dress I’d fallen in love with without even considering the time that would go into it and not having the option to return it and get the money back if I didn’t even like it! (And I now entirely understand that this dress is actually in reality fairly cheap considering what goes into making it!).
In the end, I decided it wasn’t worth it – at least, not for this Christmas party. Maybe I should start an attempt to make it in January so it’s ready for next year’s Christmas party! So I took the plunge and ordered the Collectif one, knowing I could return it if it didn’t fit or I didn’t like it. The only problem? I love it. Far, far too much! The other problem – it’s too fancy for a work Christmas party dress, far, far too fancy! And I don’t have any other events I can possibly think of too wear it to – awards ceremonies? Masked balls? None of those on my horizon, I’m afraid!
But, look at it!
I can’t package this dress back up and send it back again! I know it’s very creased, but I’m still not sure I’m going to keep it so don’t want to steam it – I took these pictures to try to help me make the decision, but it’s too hard!
So I ordered another dress. Missguided have a 50% off sale every so often. I haven’t bought from them in years, but I decided to have a look and spotted a range of dresses suitable for Christmas parties that were so so cheap for what they were. This navy crushed velvet midi dress looked really retro in its style, and at only £11 with the 50% off, I wasn’t going to say no – it went into my basket!
It’s quite a bit more blue in real life than it seems in the product photos, but it’s gorgeous. It’s a lot less fancy and feels a lot more like something that would fit in better at our usual Christmas parties, but this one has a problem too – it’s so low cut! Luckily I’ve got this bra from House of Fraser* recently so I’m prepped (full review coming on BCLC soon!), but I don’t wear things that show off this much cleavage any more (I never really used to anyway to be honest) and I feel very exposed in it! I’m considering investing in some fashion tape to make sure everything stays in place, and I feel like the straps might need shortening a bit, but pulling it up any further pulls the underbust seam too high. I really do like the fit of it though and how comfortable it is, plus velvet is very festive, and it was only £11 compared to the £90 of the other dress! It’s really good quality too for that £11!
So what do you think, what should I do? Which Christmas party dress should I choose? I may even buy another to try yet – I did turn up at one Christmas party with 6 dresses in tow to make a decision between on the night, oops! (All apart from one I already owned – I only bought one that I decided a few days before I didn’t like any more – typical!). It’s always a difficult decision, so I’m handing it over to you, with a few more of my options for purchase below too. What do you think?